Saturday, April 14, 2012

Break up the Mets!

This sort of thing isn't supposed to be happening. I was delighted by their season opening sweep of the Braves, but I recalled a similar occurrence some seasons ago, after which the Mets quickly demonstrated what statisticians call regression toward the mean. I thought that was happening when the Mets lost their second two to the Nats, including the vaunted Santana-Strasburg match-up. I couldn't watch the game, as I was working. After seeing the 4-0 score, I asked Kristin, charming Chip Shop bartender and fellow Mets fan, if Santana had re-injured his shoulder. "No," she said, "he's all right. They just never hit for him."

I'll confess to being puzzled by this "run support" thing. The implication is that the batters dislike a pitcher, so, in games when he's pitching, they (subconsciously, we hope) don't see the ball as well, or take a little off their swings. But if it's the ace pitcher who typically doesn't get support (as with Santana), then a more straightforward explanation is that schedules often produce ace-to-ace match-ups, so the batters will facing the opposing team's best pitcher, as the Mets may have been with Strasburg.

In another few weeks, I may look back on this post with embarrassment. For now, I'm enjoying the ride.

Brooklyn Brewery's "Sorachi Ace" beer.

I'd had a taste of Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace beer at Borough President Marty Markowitz's presser for Dine in Brooklyn (indeed, several tastings, as the Brooklyn Brewery folks were kind about refilling my little cup as I went around tasting food), and I wanted to try it again. This afternoon I spotted it at Lassen & Hennigs, and decided it would be an interesting accompaniment to my temporary bachelor (my wife is at an archivists' meeting in Cape May, New Jersey) dinner of Trader Joe's barbecued pulled pork on a bun accompanied by a mixed green salad with tomatoes and mushrooms topped with T.J.'s sesame soy ginger vinaigrette dressing. Above is a photo of the impressive 25.4 fluid ounce bottle, with its Champagne-style cork.

Here is a closer photo of the label. "Sorachi Ace" is the kind of hops used in making the beer.

When I pulled the cork, there was a nice little "pop." I made the mistake of pouring a bit too fast, which resulted in a huge head. After allowing it to collapse enough to pour more beer, I settled down to drink and eat. Here are my tasting notes:

Color: deep amber.

Head: big, creamy, long-lasting.

Aroma: citrusy, hoppy, with floral overtones.

Taste: rich, not overly bitter, toasty, suggestion of apricots in the finish. After I wrote those tasting notes, I did a web search for "sorachi ace hops" and got this. While the article stresses a lemony quality of the hops, the comment by Ben (scroll down) refers to " a really creamy, cloying, buttery element" that seems to agree with my "rich" and "toasty."

Bottom line: an interesting, well made beer that stands up to flavorful food like BBQ pork. It would also be good to savor on its own.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Marshall Chapman's lament for her friend Tim Krekel

Almost three years ago I posted a video clip and some text about Marshall Chapman performing with her friend Tim Krekel and his band at an event called Bobbie Watson's Dance or Die, at the Vernon Club in Louisville. As I noted in an addendum to that post, not long after that event Tim died; I've since learned it was from a fast-acting cancer.

The clip above, thanks to Music Fog, is of Marshall singing a lament for Tim, in which she recalls singing with him that last time in Louisville.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mets complete three game sweep of Braves.

If the AP wire says so it must be true. I never dreamed they would go undefeated this deep into the season. So far, everything seems to be clicking: Sanatana back in old form, Dickey, Niese and the bullpen pitching well, Francisco (is it now a rule that Mets closers must have "Francisco" as part of their name, and will we someday have one named Francisco Franco?) rings up three saves, Wright is hitting, Lucas Duda looks to be a force at the plate, and, dare I say, Ruben Tejada is filling in nicely for that guy who went to the Marlins (now if only he proves less fragile).

Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana.

The Easter Hymn from Pietro Mascagni's opera Cavalleria Rusticana is here performed by the chorus of the Geneva (Switzerland) Amateur Operatic Society. A bit rough in spots, but what it lacks in precision it makes up for in brio. Thanks to briantho for the clip.